Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Welcome to my new blog, now part of my new web site, www.ruthjkaufman.com! Thanks to my designer, Heidi, who created a place that represents my modern medieval sensibilities. I plan to update my blog more than once a week, and add writing related content and news to my web site once a month. Thanks to everyone who is interested in my adventures as one who is Gainfully Unemployed. I hope you'll visit often.

There's still time to vote this week for Round 4, Best Dialogue Scene, in Dorchester/RT BOOKclub's American Title II contest. Your vote can help FOLLOW YOUR HEART make it to the final two!

One of my newest adventures is volunteering as an adult literacy tutor. It's something I've wanted to do for years, because reading has been such a huge part of my life, I can't imagine growing up without the enjoyment good books. But for various reasons, millions of adults read at a second grade level or less. More on this in future posts.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

So what does a Gainfully Unemployed do all day?

I keep getting asked what I do all day. Perhaps people think I'm ensconced in a beauty salon, reclining on a chaise as one manicurist works on my hands and another on my toes, while my page fans me with one hand and drops chocolate into my mouth with the other. Perhaps they have no clue how they would schedule/fill their time if they didn't have a day job. Or perhaps they are just curious.

Here's yesterday:
6:34 up and into exercise clothes
make coffee and read paper
check emails
8:00 turn on FIT TV and do whatever show is on. 23 minutes of slowrobics.
finish writing intial web content and send to web designer
11:00 change to jeans/nicer shirt and take bus downtown for lunch meeting at chicago bar association. cruise through Fields on the way. pick up Subway sandwich.
12:15 leave meeting as it starts. Hop cab and hurry to near Sox park. Why? Emergency call from an agent. They had to get me on tape ASAP. Had I dressed for an audition? No. Did I have my ear prompter, which they said they wanted? No. Did I have time to race home to get it? No.
12:45 arrive at agent, memorize copy for Honda delarship ad. Other last minute auditionees do have their prompters and audition attire because they came from home. Remove glasses, while everything is fuzzy tape ad.
1:15 Race back to Loop. No cabs in area, fortunately bus arrives promptly, to Red Line to Loop.
20 minutes late for first tutoring session at Literacy Chicago. I'd called my student and told him I'd be late.
1:50 Tutor
3:05 cruise through Filenes. (I was already right next door.)
3:30-5:00 I'd brought my AlphaSmart, sort of a laptop but weighs only 2 lbs. Bought beverage at Borders and wrote 4 pages.
5:00 Corner Bakery to have soup. (ok, and a brownie.)
5:45 go to chorus rehearsal for Beethoven's 9th. Altos get released early, at 7:15.
8:00 home. final email check, transfer pages from Alphasmart to my computer, print some stuff and get organized for next day.
9:00 Watch Project Runway.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Vote now! American Title Round 4

Yes!! I’m thrilled to reveal that FOLLOW YOUR HEART, my historical romance novel set in medieval England, has made it to the final four in Dorchester Publishing/RT BOOKclub Magazine’s American Title II contest, run along the lines of the TV show American Idol.

Vote now through March 5 for Round 4, Best Dialogue Scene at:


The two finalists receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated. The winner will get published.

For more info about the contest, finalists and judges, visit: http://www.romantictimes.com/e_news/amtitle.shtml

Thank you for helping me achieve my dream of becoming a published author.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

FOLLOW YOUR HEART...in the Final Four?

Will FOLLOW YOUR HEART make it to the Final Four in Dorchester/RT BOOKclub's national American Title II contest? Tomorrow morning I'll post the news here, or visit www.romantictimes.com and check out the American Title II box that should be in the upper right hand corner!

Thanks to everyone who voted in Rounds 1-3....

Friday, February 17, 2006

Web site coming soon!

My web site is coming soon! The design is underway, and looks fabulous. My blog will be integrated somehow. Now I've got to get moving on writing all the content...

Yesterday I was a juror for part of a PSA filmed by one of Chicago's public TV stations. All we had to do was sit in a jury box.

Finished novel #7 and am contining with #8. Last year I worked on both at the same time, so I already have over 100 pages.

Coming Monday morning...an update on the American Title II contest.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Web World

Creating a good web site involves a lot more work than one might think. From colors to mood to content, bunches of decisions need to be made in advance. After frustrating, time consuming attempts to create a free site on my own, the results were nothing like I wanted. I couldn't even figure out how to change some of the template copy. Finally, I gave up. I want to spend my time writing the content for the pages, not doing the technical work. So the designer hunt began. I visited dozens of author web sites and viewed the designers' portfolios. I studied how the sites were arranged. I chose xuni.com... we got along great via e-mail and she agreed to do my site. Construction is under way! Looking forward to creating a visually interesting, content-rich site.

Friday, February 03, 2006

My Highlander: The Source Set Diary

My Highlander: The Source Set Diary is finally online, on the Highlander Worldwide site! Visit


to read about details about my adventures in Vilnius...complete with fabulous pictures from the set!

Other reports are available too.

Three more days to vote for Round 3: Best Story Summary at www.romantictimes.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Latest News

  • Started work on my voice over demo CD: one two hour session to lay down a variety of commercial snippets. Ended up with more than two minutes, from upbeat retail to dialogue to comforting housewife. Now have to get some industry feedback, then add music, sound effects and condense to one minute. My voice over II teacher Jeff and his partner, both working voice over actors, helped me with every take and were quite complimentary. You can hear Jeff's demos at: http://www.loopytalk.com/ or lots of demos at their agency, www.voicesunlimited.com
  • RWA National accepted the workshop I proposed with RWA Hall of Fame author Jennifer Greene about persistence at any stage of your career. Now we need to come up with some great stuff to complete our outline.
  • Five more days left to vote in Round 3 of American Title II, Best Story Summary at www.romantictimes.com... thanks to everyone who has voted or plans to vote!
  • Almost finished with novel #7!! Less than 30 pages to go...